Friday, December 18, 2009

Estranged

I tried to call my father today.  (for those who don't know this will help you catch up here.)

His number is disconnected, so I didn't talk to him.  I have no clue what I would have said if he'd answered.  I'm not even sure why I tried.  I think I feel bad for him.  It's got to be hard on him, this time of year, being estranged from both of his daughters.  Knowing he has grandchildren who don't, and probably never will, know him. 

My calling him isn't completely unprecedented.  We've been in and out of contact over the past few years.  And it's almost always like this.  Something makes me feel guilty for keeping him out of my life, so I hunt him down, initiate contact.  We talk or email off and on for a while.  We've even seen each other a couple of times.  But I just can't maintain it.  See, he still denies, with every conversation, everything.  And I still, even knowing I'll never get it, need him just once, to admit it, and accept responsibility for what he did to me.  So after a few months the calls get fewer and further between, it takes me longer and longer to respond to emails, until finally we've lost contact again.  I don't do it purposely.  I really don't.  But that's how it always happens.

I think part of me always hopes that this time he'll do it - he'll apologize, and be the Daddy I always wanted.  I tell myself it will never happen.  I know it will never happen.  And at 33, I'm old enough not to need a Daddy anymore anyway.  But it doesn't stop the wanting.  And maybe this time of year makes it harder on me too.  It is a time for family and togetherness, and I will never have the family I wish for.  It makes me sad.  

I do have an email address for him.  I haven't decided if I want to try it.  Knowing I have this pattern of getting closer and the backing away, would it even be fair to him?  Believe it or not, I do still love him, and I don't want to cause him any pain.  And assuming I decide that it's not unfair to him, would it really do me any good?  Is there any real point?  Sometimes hope is a futile emotion, and I really think this may be one of those times.  So why keep trying?

But it is Christmas.  And miracles do happen.  And he is my father.  The only one I get.  Would it really do me any harm to find him, to send him pictures of his grandchildren?  To tell him that I love him, in spite of everything?  Don't I owe him that much at least?  Why aren't there ever any easy answers?  

5 comments:

Jeanette said...

Jennifer, I'm so sorry. I cannot relate to the things in the post you linked to, and I won't pretend I can. But I have a strange relationship with my dad too, and we also talk for a bit and then lose touch. It's rough. It doesn't matter how old you are. I hope you find some peace for the holidays, no matter what happens with your dad. You are a wonderful person for even being willing to try.

MY LIFE WITH BOYS! said...

I don't have any answers. I'm sorry you are going through this. I guess I would follow my heart. I hope you have a great holiday!

Dawn said...

Jennifer, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to initiate contact. I'm going through a similar thing with my mother.

I haven't talked to her in 2 years and we were very, very close. However, when my stepfather died, she kind of went mental and wasn't happy that I moved from GA to OR. She felt it was my job to stay, giving up my chance at happiness, to take care of her. Unfortunately, that job has fallen to my oldest daughter and her husband. My mother treats her granddaughter like crap and I hate her for it.

But I still get twinges of desire to write her a long letter...to call her...to initiate some sort of contact, hoping we can be close again.

*sending big hugs to you*

Angel said...

I'm so sorry you are having to go through all this. I hope it all works out for you.

I will *hug* you again!

Robin in Montana said...

I am so sorry, Jennifer. I have been close with my Dad my whole life, but we got much closer after my Mom died last year. Since that time, though, he's remarried to a woman I'm not that fond of, and while he loves me, he is so very upset and sad and disapproving of the choices I've made (leaving my husband, and my church) and I feel the pain in his voice every time we talk and it just kills me. Parent/child relationships are a tricky thing - all we can do is do all we can to maintain our relationships with our own children, I guess. ((hugs)) to you and yours.

 

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